Mortgage

Wells Fargo offering down payment grants to boost homeownership in Kansas City area

Bank commits $5.7 million through NeighborhoodLIFT program

Prospective homebuyers in the Kansas City area will have the chance to get a $15,000 down payment grant from Wells Fargo, as the bank announced Monday that it is bringing its NeighborhoodLIFT program back to the area.

Wells Fargo, along with NeighborWorks America and its network member, Westside Housing Organization, said Monday that the bank is committing $5.7 million to boost homeownership in the counties of Cass, Clay, and Jackson.

This new outreach isn’t the first time that Wells Fargo has brought its NeighborhoodLIFT program to the Kansas City area. Back in 2014, a $6.3 million commitment by Wells Fargo helped create 308 homeowners by offering homebuyer education plus $15,000 down payment assistance grants.

Now, Wells Fargo is bringing the program back.

To be eligible, buyers’ annual incomes must not be more than 80% of the local area median income, which is about $64,000 for up to a family of four.

Additionally, there are special considerations for veterans, service members, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, including a larger down payment grant.

Those individuals are allowed to earn up to 100% of the local area median income, which is about $80,000, and may reserve $17,500 down payment assistance grants.

Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to buy a home in Cass, Clay or Jackson counties.

According to John Santner, regional vice president of the Midwest region for NeighborWorks America, the Wells Fargo program will help create more than 300 new homeowners in the area.

Participating buyers do not need to use Wells Fargo as their mortgage lenders. Borrowers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender.

“NeighborhoodLIFT has proven to be a catalyst to put homeownership within reach for our community’s families, veterans, teachers and first responders,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “We welcome this innovative effort that will provide our residents with access to even more affordable housing options in our community.”

In order to reserve the full grant amount, prospective homebuyers must commit to live in the home for five years.

“On behalf of my constituents in the 5th District of Missouri, we commend Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, Westside Housing and Beyond Housing for working together to bring this innovative program forward,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, said. “NeighborhoodLIFT will put hundreds of our residents on the path to homeownership.”

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